The Seattle Seahawks, one of the favorites to win this season’s Super Bowl, chalked up their 10th win of the National Football League season on Sunday.
There are still six weeks to go in the regular season, but the Seahawks are already living up to their billing as one of the teams to beat as their main foes falter.
On Sunday, hosts the Seahawks thrashed the Minnesota Vikings 41-20, turning a close game into a rout with two fourth-quarter interceptions, including one returned 29 yards for a touchdown.
With a 10-1 record, they are all but assured of making the playoffs and winning the tough National Football Conference West Division after their chief rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, slipped to 6-4.
For the second week in a row, the 49ers, last year’s Super Bowl runners-up, lost a heartbreaker.
Last week, they fell by a point to the Carolina Panthers, this week they lost 23-20 to the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints, who have lofty ambitions of their own after improving to 8-2, sealed the win with a 31-yard, last-gasp field goal from Garrett Hartley as time expired.
The New York Giants, Super Bowl champions two seasons ago, continued their mid-season revival with a 27-13 win over the visiting Green Bay Packers for their fourth straight win.
The Packers (5-5) have lost three straight since their star quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sidelined with a broken collarbone and the Giants capitalized, with Jason Pierre-Paul clinching the win with a fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown off Scott Tolzien, who was starting his first NFL game.
The Giants seemed to have a forlorn chance of making the playoffs after losing their first six games, but they are suddenly starting to believe after improving to 4-6.
“We’re just excited to have a bit of momentum going,” head coach Tom Coughlin said.
Momentum is starting to go against the Baltimore Ravens, the defending Super Bowl champions, who fell to 4-6.
On Sunday, they were beaten 23-20 in overtime by the Chicago Bears (6-4) in a game that was delayed for almost two hours because of foul weather in the Windy City.
“We’ll come back home for a few weeks and get ourselves back in this thing,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
Ben Roethlisberger, whose future with the Pittsburgh Steelers had been the source of speculation all last week, produced one of his best games of the season.
Just hours after his agents shot down rumors he could be traded, the two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback turned in a vintage performance to rally his struggling team to a 37-27 victory over the Detroit Lions.
Roethlisberger threw for 367 yards and four touchdowns, including a one-yard game-winner to fullback Will Johnson as the visiting Lions (6-4) went scoreless in the second half after piling on 27 points in the second quarter.
“Boy, that was a satisfying win,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.
The Cincinnati Bengals went even better, scoring a franchise-record 31 points in the second quarter to defeat their hosts the Cleveland Browns 41-20.
The Bengals overturned a 13-0 deficit to improve to 7-4 and maintain control of the American Football Conference North division, while their rivals the Browns slipped to 4-6.
The Philadelphia Eagles moved to the top of the National Football Conference East Division with a 24-16 victory over the visiting Washington Redskins.
The Eagles (6-5) inched ahead of the Dallas Cowboys (5-5), who had a bye, with rookie quarterback Nick Foles throwing for 298 yards and running for a touchdown.
Washington, last season’s division champions, fell to 3-7.
“Nobody on the team will give up, I can guarantee you that, but this one if is a tough one to swallow,” Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss said.
Oakland’s undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin threw three touchdown passes in his first career start as the Raiders (4-6) beat the struggling Houston Texans (2-8) 28-23.
The Buffalo Bills (4-7) snapped a three-game skid with a 37-14 thrashing of American Football Conference East rivals the New York Jets (5-5), while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) recorded their second straight win with a 41-28 rout of the Atlanta Falcons (2-8).
The Arizona Cardinals (6-4) stayed in the playoff hunt with a 27-14 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9), the Miami Dolphins (5-5) defeated the San Diego Chargers (4-6) 20-16 and the Denver Broncos (9-1) downed the previously unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) 27-17.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017